With five goals, Gill right at home

Freshman from St. Paul's does it all in 3: 08 span

Abrams quiets McCavera

NCAA notebook

May 30, 1999|By Jamison Hensley and Paul McMullen | Jamison Hensley and Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- Playing before the largest crowd of a career, some freshmen will panic and others will react like Virginia's Conor Gill.

Gill, who was wearing a St. Paul's School uniform a year ago, recorded just the 18th five-goal performance in NCAA tournament history.

But Gill, the designated feeder for the Cavaliers, accomplished his total in a flash, scoring all of his goals in a 3: 08 span of the first quarter that set Virginia up with a 9-2 advantage.

"I'm not sure what happened," Gill said. "I usually do better in games I do well early on. I just got the opportunities."

Yet the Timonium resident didn't have a stellar beginning yesterday.

Just 3 1/2 minutes into the game, he had a one-on-one situation right on the crease. Staring at Johns Hopkins goalkeeper Brian Carcaterra, Gill fired wide right.

"I wasn't happy with my first shot," Gill said. "I shrugged it off and went back to work."

He entered the game with only two goals in his previous five games and ranked sixth on the team before the semifinals. Still, his output yesterday shouldn't be that surprising since he set the school record with five goals in the opening quarter against Rutgers on March 16.

Not this time

When Georgetown ended the regular season with a 17-13 win over Syracuse, Greg McCavera ran wild. The Hoyas' all-time leading scorer had a career-high eight goals in that game. The Orangemen knew they needed to tinker with their defensive scheme in their NCAA semifinal, and McCavera couldn't solve a match-up zone that featured the marking of Marshall Abrams.

McCavera got his only goal and assist in the 59th minute, much to the surprise of Abrams.

"I thought he had more than that," said Abrams, a soft-spoken junior who was an honorable-mention All-American last season.

Georgetown coach Dave Urick was impressed with Abrams.

"That kid played Greg very smart," Urick said. "He didn't overplay, didn't try to take away the ball. Sometimes, when you get a real good defenseman on a real good attackman, it becomes a mano a mano thing. Greg would have taken advantage of that, but he [Abrams] was smart. He had a very good approach."

Unexpected offense

Jeff Lowe is a defensive midfielder for Syracuse who also plays wide receiver for the Orangemen in football.

Spring football has delayed his lacrosse progress, but he arrived in a big way, with his first two goals of the season. He had two of Syracuse's first three goals, at a time when the Orange attack was struggling. Lowe took four shots in Syracuse's first 15 games, but when he wasn't picked up in transition, he fired away.

"I missed two [lacrosse] practices a week during spring football," Lowe said. "Coach [John Desko] was pretty understanding. I just tried to make the best of it."

Briefly

The crowd of 27,586 was the third largest in tournament semifinal history. The top four attendance marks have all been at Byrd Stadium. Syracuse can match Johns Hopkins' record of seven titles tomorrow. Syracuse hasn't lost to the same opponent twice in a season since Cornell in 1987. The Orangemen reached the championship game for the first time since 1995, when they beat Maryland, 13-9, here. Three of their six titles have been earned at Byrd Stadium. Six of Chris Cordisco's 13 goals for Syracuse have come in the postseason tournament.

Pub Date: 5/30/99

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